2nd Oregon State Hospital staff member tests positive for coronavirus

2nd Oregon State Hospital staff member tests positive for coronavirus
Oregonian, April 5 2020

A second staff member at the Oregon State Hospital has tested positive for coronavirus, officials said Tuesday. Both staff members worked at the Salem campus.

Rebeka Gibson-King, a hospital spokeswoman, said three patients at the hospital have been tested and all the tests have come back negative. The number of pending tests for staff is “unknown,” according to Gibson-King.

The hospital, which provides in-patient psychiatric treatment for adults and also has facilities in Junction City, learned of the first case March 31. The second case was disclosed Monday.

The hospital has taken several steps to slow the spread of coronavirus, including requiring staff members to wear masks, monitoring all patients for fevers or other respiratory symptoms, and tracing the contacts of anyone who tests positive.

The hospital is staggering gym and outdoor time to allow for social distancing, creating special areas for high-risk patients, and admitting new patients to a special unit where they are monitored for two weeks before being allowed access to other parts of the hospital.

On Friday, the first inmate in the Oregon prison system tested positive for coronavirus at Santiam Correctional Institution in Salem, officials said. On Monday, inmates filed a class action lawsuit, accusing several top officials from the Department of Corrections and Gov. Kate Brown of failing to prevent the spread of the virus in the state’s prisons.